Andre Drummond's debut with the Los Angeles Lakers lasted just over a half after the newly acquired center was forced to leave the game with a toe injury.
Drummond played 14 minutes Wednesday in a 112-97 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks in his first game since signing with the Lakers earlier this week. He said he injured his right big toe in the first quarter when Bucks center Brook Lopez stepped on his foot. He had the toe wrapped at halftime but exited for good early in the third quarter.
"I didn't really think anything of it," Drummond said. "I came back in the second quarter and it was hurting a little bit more. And then after halftime I finally took my sock off to look and my whole toenail was gone. It was all bad from there. I couldn't walk or run, so I just told coach to take me out."
“After halftime I took my sock off to look and my whole toenail was gone…it was all bad from there, I couldn’t walk or run.” @AndreDrummond speaks post-game about his toe injury in his #LakeShow debut vs. Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/n0cWQCu0b3
Frank Vogel obliged, and Drummond limped to the locker room shortly after. X-rays were negative. The Lakers said Drummond will be re-evaluated Thursday and is considered day-to-day. Their next game is Friday on the road against the Sacramento Kings.
Drummond started and had four points, two assists and one rebound on 2-of-6 shooting, with four fouls and three turnovers. He said he felt good early and helped the Lakers take a six-point lead after the first quarter.
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"In that first quarter, a lot of energy from our guys and myself," Drummond said. "We were having a lot of fun out there. Just unfortunate for that to happen in the first game."
Drummond's injury is just the latest for a Lakers team struggling to weather the absence of its two best players. LeBron James missed his sixth straight game with a sprained ankle. Anthony Davis has been out since Feb. 14 with a calf injury.
Andre Drummond (2) played just 14 minutes in his Lakers debut against Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) and the Bucks. (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)
The Lakers have lost five of their last seven and have slipped to fourth place in the Western Conference at 30-18. They're a half-game ahead of the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers. The also face a tough April schedule, with 11 of 15 games on the road.
"We don't worry about that," Vogel said of the injuries. "We worry about the guys in uniform. We know we have enough. We have a deep team. We've been playing better basketball, and we know we can win. Our group is going to grind."
Drummond was expected to help carry the offensive load without James and Davis.
"To have this happen to me in the first game is kind of a little deflating for me, but my head is high," Drummond said. "I'm going to take it day by day and come back better than ever."
Here are four more things to know today in the NBA:
Harden exits with injury
James Harden missed the fourth quarter of the Brooklyn Nets' win Wednesday after experiencing tightness in his right hamstring. Harden had 17 points through three quarters against the Houston Rockets before sitting out the final period. Nets coach Steve Nash said the team will be cautious with Harden, but "we feel optimistic it's not a long-term thing." Brooklyn overcame an 18-point deficit Wednesday to win 120-108 and move a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference. Harden is averaging 25.9 points, 11.1 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Steve Nash breaks down tonight’s win and provides an update on James Harden. pic.twitter.com/CzBDiRtWzj
Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo became the second trio of brothers in NBA history to appear in the same game when all three were on the court to close out Bucks-Lakers. Giannis played 36 minutes and Thanasis 12 for Milwaukee. Kostas played the final two minutes when Lakers coach Frank Vogel cleared the bench at the end of their 112-97 loss. Bucks teammate Jrue Holiday was part of the first trio of brothers to play in a game with Justin and Aaron Holiday in 2019.
Antetokounmpo brothers after the game ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PX2euWtl82
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has a sprained right thumb and is questionable to play Thursday against the Orlando Magic. Williamson hurt the thumb in Monday's game against the Boston Celtics when he braced himself on a fall. The Pelicans reportedly don't consider the injury serious, but it comes at a precarious moment as New Orleans tries to push for a playoff spot. Williamson is averaging a team-leading 26.4 points per game on 62.4% shooting.
Game of the night: Warriors at Heat
Victor Oladipo is expected to make his Miami debut Thursday when the Heat return home from a three-game road trip. Miami is back to .500 at 24-24 and hoping Oladipo can regain any part of his past All-Star form after acquiring him at the trade deadline. Golden State is a game below .500 at 23-24 and looking to stay in contention for the play-in tournament with Steph Curry back from a bruised tailbone.
Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.
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